People talk a lot about trying to achieve and maintain a work-life balance. This is a beautiful and worthy goal. Work should not take up all of our lives, and we should have times and places in our lives that are free from the stresses and overreach of the office (or wherever you work).
But what about having some balance in your non-work life? I would like to propose a theory: that many of us have a space in our lives for this thing called “work,” and a space in our lives for this thing called “not work,” but we don’t pay nearly enough attention to the “not work” (aka “life”) category.
For instance, do you have goals in life that are not work- or money-related? Do you have fitness goals or travel goals or creative goals that fall outside of your job? How do you prioritize those when it comes to work, to cleaning the house, to picking up groceries, to watching TV? I know that I sometimes do the bare minimum to maintain a semblance of adulthood (pay the bills, take out the trash, water most of the plants, feed the cat) and then spend the rest of my non-work awake time online and watching TV (often both at once), which is not really how I want to be spending my life. But it turns out that is how I’m spending my life, because I’m not paying attention.
And so I say…consider the sloth. Or, in any case, consider how you want things to be. And don’t say that there aren’t enough hours in the day, because that’s a terrible excuse. We choose to be busy, we choose to go out to dinner and drinks when we actually want to have time to read War & Peace. We choose to help with the bake sale when we don’t have time to hang out with our cats and knit a scarf for our neighbor. And helping and hanging out with friends are great things! But what great things would we accomplish if we prioritized our lives the way we prioritized our jobs? What could you do with a fantastic life-life balance?